The 2020 Idaho Triennial – Juror’s Awards
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Juror’s 1st Place Award Winner
(American, born 1980)
Artist Statement| The intent of my work is to elevate the mundane to the holy, and vice versa.
A meditation on cycles of creation and healing, Renewing the Infinite Vow draws connections between the honeycomb, ovaries, womb, and heartbeat, through use of repetition, sacred geometry, and intuitive gestures.
The viewer is invited inside the hexagon structure to observe a scale model of the structure, erupting with vibrating thread remnants from the assembly of 720 fabric spheres flanking the shrine. Two wall hangings (720 tally marks each) stand as documents of the construction of the piece, and as witnesses to its completed form.
Within this space, creation is given utmost reverence.
Elijah Jensen-Lindsey, Renewing the Infinite Vow, 2019
textile, fir, birch plywood, and sound
96 x 96 x 96 inches
Photo: Brooke Burton
Juror’s Merit Award Winner
(Iraqi/American, born Iraq, 1975)
Artist Statement| My body of work explores the relationship between violence, politics, gender, and emotional memory. War and conflict have had an enormous impact on my life and my artwork. I am a child of Iraq, born during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The experience of three wars, an economic blockade, and the catastrophe of the US invasion imposed many hardships on my family, but we survived, and despite the difficulties, my will to express myself through art is undiminished.
Through my practice, I explore the relationship of different concepts within today’s political climate, drawing from past experiences. A major concept is the relationship with home: where someone was born and raised, the choices of leaving, and the consequences of staying. In other words, I use the personal to address the political. What does it mean to be separated from what you used to call home? Not only a physical separation, but also a mental separation. All that is left are those memories haunting us, we, immigrants.
I am fascinated by the great history of Mesopotamia, by the establishment of a society and secure cities. I look at today’s reality in Iraq and the constant struggles people have been facing every day for decades: the lack of safety and the significant, regular needs for clean water and electricity. My work projects two eras on the same land by animating different elements from Mesopotamia.
Often I use tar or motor oil in my mixed-media painting to symbolize the main reason for tragedy in Iraq and many other places.
Juror’s Merit Award Winner
(American, born 1972)
Artist Statement | The speed and precision of the table saw, the tool I use the most, supports my style of working, which is fast and somewhat aggressive. I try to capture the energy of an idea before it fades. My desire is to create art and functional furniture pieces that engage—sometimes with concept, sometimes with form, sometimes with both—but are aesthetically pleasing with successful proportions.
The intent of my work is to show the duality of an object or event, to deal with subject matter that considers different perspectives being equally strong and equally weak, equally good and equally bad. Accepting that all things have a strength and a weakness, I can realize the empathy that is needed for me to understand that which I find difficult. If there is friendship, there is loneliness. If there are bad choices, there are good ones. If someone is good, sometimes they are bad. I create works with strong lines, sharp edges, and angles, and contrast that with the organic, round shapes of wooden rocks or soft materials, like shearling. I use my own personal experiences, and those of others who share their stories with me, to show there is always more than one side to a situation.